Pakistan explodes into another bombing episode over the weekend and into Monday morning. Reports from Al Jazeera suggest attacks carried out may be linked by possibly targeting Pakistani military and political figures.
Series of Explosions Erupt Sunday and Monday
The bomb blast Monday morning was the latest explosion. It came from a suicide bomber, who blew himself up near military headquarters in Rawalpindi, a city near the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, according to reports from the Associated Press. The AP story that ran in USA Today, also mentioned another deadly blast that took place at a Pakistani army compound Sunday. It may well be that the attacks are linked.
The Sunday attack has been linked to the Taliban, according to sources. The Dhaka Tribune reported that there were 20 casualties, all security forces, in the attack on troops in the Cantt area of Bannu district. A total of 20 were killed, 30 injured in the Sunday attack in Pakistan. They more specifically reported on the Taliban group, noting it was the Militant organisation Tehrik-i—Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP said they would continue attacks. Then Monday’s attack followed.
So Far, Information Inconsistent
So far, reports have been inconsistent on the Rawalpindi attack, though they are fairly approximate. The explosion details are still being investigated however, as this is breaking news.
It was reported by AP that nine were killed, eight by the Dhaka Tribune who cited local media in Pakistan, and ten according to the Malay Mail Online who cited Reuters.
When something in Pakistan explodes, like those that did over the weekend and Monday morning, details come in from many sources and they can be difficult to confirm.
All sources were consistent about the 20 killed in the compound attack. NBC said military officials confirmed this number as well.
The Malay Mail Online reported that 14 were injured in the attack at Rawalpindi, according to information from Reuters. The AP reported 15. The military cordoned the area off, which is located in a popular market that was crowded at the time of the detonation. It is unclear from information coming in whether or not those explosions were calculated or linked to the same group, but both were in would-be strategic locations for terrorist attacks.
Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility on behalf of Taliban and Islamist insurgents. Shahid told the AP via telephone that the attack was revenge for Waliur Rehman, a former commander who was killed last year in a U.S. drone strike.
Bombings in Northwest Area Common
A bomb in Pakistan explodes in North Wazeristan areas regularly, so it is not just something isolated over the weekend.This area of Pakistan in the Northwest is a frequent booby trap for military personnel, though attacks inside a military facility are quite rare. The area is a haven for fighters in the war in Afghanistan and the drone attack in November halted any chances for the newly elected Pakistani president to talk peace. After all, he was elected to do so by a majority Muslim population who has grown tired of fighting other Muslims in a war viewed as a U.S. effort.
By Rob Lawson